India plans to activate an emergency law next month to make power plants maximise their production of imported coal, two government sources said.
The government will work to relieve the debt strain on power plants to make them fully functional in preparation for expected record consumption this year.
Many Indian coal-fired plants, including those those owned by Adani Power and Tata Power in India’s western Gujarat state, have not operated at full capacity in the recent years because they have found it difficult to compete with power generated from cheap domestic coal.
Federal power ministry officials will work with those involved in debt restructuring of financially stressed power plants to make them functional, the sources said.
The ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
India expects its power plants to burn about 8% more coal in the financial year ending March 2024, with increased economic activity and erratic weather to continue boost growth in demand for power.
India’s industrial western states Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have registered a steep rise in power demand in recent months, demanded invocation of the law, the sources said. The law is being invoked for the second time in as many years.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon